The company made its move after Bell Media layoffs in the city.
(From left): Blake Price, Nathalie Rees, Rob Rees and Matt Sekeres
Out of crisis, Nathalie Rees spied opportunity.
The PR pro and vice-president of North Beach Agency (a Vancouver-based marketing firm she founded in 2020 with her husband, Rob Rees) woke up to shock on February 9. Like many Vancouver sports aficionados, Rees was dismayed to learn that Bell Media had gutted its TSN 1040 sports radio station and immediately laid off all employees.
Rees, a former competitive gymnast and style expert, had appeared on one of 1040’s flagship shows—The Sekeres and Price Show—many times over the years. She also counted hosts Matt Sekeres and Blake Price as close friends.
So with Sekeres and Price and many of their colleagues left without work but with a loyal audience eager to hear them converse about Vancouver sports (and particularly the Canucks), Rees jumped into action.
North Beach had previously launched a podcast with sports personalities Ray Ferraro and Darren Dreger (The Ray & Dregs Podcast), and Rees saw a chance to expand.
“After a couple days of shock, I remember I said to Rob, I think we should do a reunion show where at least the guys have the ability to say goodbye to their audience—they didn’t get that chance,” she recalls. “As we started going down that road, we sort of said, You know what, why don’t we create something that’s our own, and still reminiscent of what they were doing before, a 3- to 6-p.m. livestream?”
So Rob and Nathalie started hunting for studio space. By early April, they had a ground-floor spot with state-of-the-art equipment in the Sheraton Wall Centre downtown, as well as a new company called Go Goat Sports, with Nathalie serving as CEO. The new Sekeres & Price has had more than a million downloads since, and fellow former TSN employees Jeff Paterson and Andrew Wadden have also launched their Rink Wide show on the platform.
The shows are livestreamed on the Go Goat site and then packaged into a podcast that’s available on all the popular platforms. Part of the savvy behind the move was that Rees recognized there wasn’t just an audience going unserved: the TSN shows were a boon for advertisers, many of which were already North Beach clients.
The audience is so engaged, and advertising basically becomes part of the show, with hits voiced by the guys,” she argues. “Our clients were getting such great results—we were even advertising on TSN.”
There’s also some ingenuity in the arrangement that the Reeses brokered with their personalities—Sekeres and Price own their show and have a revenue-sharing model with Go Goat.
That approach has given the company a bit more flexibility than traditional programming, as shown on a recent Sunday after the Canucks fired general manager Jim Benning and coach Travis Green. “We ended up pulling together a livestream; it did huge numbers,” Rees says.
It was just another unexpected moment in a surreal year for Vancouver sports media. “The cool thing with this is that it’s so on the ground,” Rees says. “It’s a startup, even though it seems like something that’s been around for a long time. And people are putting in the work.”